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County Executive George Latimer and Westchester County Legislators Join ArtsWestchester to Announce the Art$WChallenge Matching Grant Program

Challenge has raised over $4.7 million for the arts since 2007

Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins and the Westchester County Board of Legislators today joined with ArtsWestchester to announce the Art$WChallenge, a matching grant program that provides much-needed funding to support arts and culture throughout Westchester County.

From now through December 14, individuals and companies are encouraged to contribute up to $5,000 to any one of 48 eligible Westchester arts and cultural organizations in order to trigger a matching grant of up to $5,000 from ArtsWestchester. This unique program is made possible by a partnership between ArtsWestchester and Westchester County government that has raised nearly $3.1 million in private support for the arts in its 11-year history.

To make a contribution, please visit artsw.org/artswchallenge, where you will find a list of the 48 participating arts organizations.

“Westchester County’s partnership with ArtsWestchester and the Art$WChallenge is a model example of how we can leverage private and public dollars in the most effective way possible to support the arts,” Latimer said. “The arts are a vital component of our local and regional economy, supporting thousands of jobs and adding millions of dollars of revenue back into our communities. I want to thank ArtsWestchester for its continued creativity and leadership in promoting the arts, which enriches all our lives in Westchester.”

Last year, the Art$WChallenge distributed a total of $734,742 for programs throughout the county. Since the program’s inception in 2007, more than $4.7 million has been raised:  $3,084,352 by area arts groups, with $1,656,944 in matching funds from ArtsWestchester through Westchester County support.

During a special kick-off reception at Morton’s in White Plains, Janet Langsam, CEO of ArtsWestchester, thanked the County Executive and the Board of Legislators for their continued commitment to the arts. Langsam also stressed the importance of the arts as an economic driver in Westchester, calling it “smart growth” for the county.

A recent study by Americans for the Arts commissioned by ArtsWestchester found that the arts and culture sector of Westchester generates $172.3 million in total economic activity. In addition, it delivers $25.8 million in local and state government revenue and supports 5,179 full-time equivalent jobs. Since 1995, the economic impact of the arts in Westchester has increased by 218 percent.

“The Art$WChallenge is a powerful example of a forward-thinking public/private partnership that pays dividends for the economy and the community,” Langsam said. “This is a smart investment not only because of the matching opportunity, but also because the arts encourage creative problem solving, contribute to our quality of life, and make Westchester a great place to live. We are thankful to Westchester County Government for recognizing the value of investing in the arts.”

The following organizations are eligible for the Art$WChallenge match:

Arc Stages
Axial Theatre
Ballet des Ameriques School and Company
Blue Door Art Center
Caramoor Center for Music & Arts
Clay Art Center
Clocktower Players
Copland House
Downtown Music at Grace
Emelin Theatre for Performing Arts
Fine Arts Orchestral Society Yonkers
Friends of Music Concerts
Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden
Historic Hudson Valley
Hoff-Barthelson Music School
Hudson Stage Company
Hudson Valley MOCA
Hudson Valley Writers’ Center
India Center of Westchester
Jacob Burns Film Center
Jazz Forum Arts
Friends of John Jay Homestead
Katonah Museum of Art
Lagond Music School
Lyndhurst, A National Trust Historic Site
Mamaroneck Artists Guild
Music Conservatory of Westchester
Neuberger Museum
New Rochelle Council for the Arts
New Rochelle Opera
Pelham Art Center
Performing Arts Center at Purchase College
Picture House Regional Film Center
Rivertowns Arts Council
Schoolhouse Theater
Steffi Nossen Dance Foundation
Taconic Opera
Tarrytown Music Hall
The Play Group Theater
The Rye Arts Center
The Symphony of Westchester
Untermyer Performing Arts Council
Westchester Italian Cultural Center
Westchester Philharmonic
Westchester Children’s Museum
White Plains Performing Arts Center
Youth Theatre Interactions

For more information about the Art$WChallenge, visit artsw.org/artswchallenge.

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